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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

 Elizabeth James Masters Social Research Methods

Senior Researcher

  Elizabeth James's photo

Elizabeth James has been a Senior Researcher within Health Sciences since 2008. Her research focus is on engagement with self-directed support in chronic illness.

Chronic illness management is a collective process

Elizabeth’s background is predominantly in qualitative research within health and educational settings. She has worked on evaluative research projects for national charities (e.g. the British Heart Foundation & the Stroke Association) in addition to current academic research within the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Elizabeth’s research focuses on self-management support for people living with a long term condition/chronic illness. She has a particular interest in how social networks and personal relationships can help people living with chronic illness connect with community resources and local activities whilst providing support to manage their health and everyday lives. Elizabeth values the involvement of patients and members of the public in all stages of applied health research from design to dissemination.

Research interests

Current Research : Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care projects

NIHR randomized controlled trial PALS (Project About Loneliness and Social networks)

Previous Research : Organisation and Delivery of Care projects

Evaluation of a social network intervention called GENIE (Generating Engagement in Networks Involvement) 2014-2015
A EU-WISE funded study to evaluate how a social networks intervention works, which has been designed to enhance and diversify support for people with long-term conditions

A study to investigate graduates’ perceptions of their career and educational pathways following completion of a Foundation degree.
This study aimed to discover how graduates had progressed educationally and in career terms following graduation and allowed them to reflect on the value of the Foundation degree in Health & Social Care as a means of improving their prospects. Individual semi-structured interviews took place with 22 alumni who had graduated between the years 2002-2008.

Students’ work and educational pathways prior to, during and following their undertaking a Foundation degree in Health and Social Care: a longitudinal case study.
This study explores through in depth interviews the experiences of students currently undertaking the Foundation degree in Health and Social Care at the University of Southampton and associated Further Education Colleges and for some, during the year following graduation. This project aims to improve the knowledge and understanding of the work and educational experiences of a group of non-typical entrants to Higher Education.

Support Workers (SW) and Support, Time, Recovery (STR) Workers: Investigating their educational, training and development needs within two NHS Trusts in Hampshire.
The aim of this study was to investigate the educational, training and development needs of SWs and STRs in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as part of Trust-wide initiatives to develop this sector of the workforce. A scoping of all education and training open to SWs and STRs was supplemented by key informant interviews with volunteers. 

Working with employers to develop and deliver a needs-led curriculum: a work-based pilot in health, education and care.
The purpose of this project is to develop a deeper understanding of how the University of Southampton works with different types of employer to develop innovative curricula and work based learning (WBL) approaches which meet the needs of learners and employers, whilst maintaining high quality educational standards.

Screening for malnutrition by community nurses: barriers and facilitators
The aim of this study was to identify the factors which prevent and enable community nurses, who provide care for adults in their own homes, to screen for malnutrition using a malnutrition screening tool. Ways in which adherence to screening guidelines can be improved were explored.

Research group

Health Work

Affiliate research group

Social Networks, Health and Wellbeing Research

Research project(s)

The Project About Loneliness and Social networks (PALS) study

Symptom prevalence and help seeking in patients at risk of lung cancer: exploratory feasibility study in primary care (CI: Corner)

NAEDI funded study exploring the help-seeking behaviour of patients with symptoms that might indicate early stages of lung cancer, and the factors that might inhibit or promote such help seeking.

Using a participant-completed questionnaire to identify symptoms that predict lung cancer: A feasibility study (Current CI: Brindle)

An NIHR NSPCR funded study to evaluate and refine the IPCARD questionnaire in a GP-referred population. (Oct. 2010 - April 2013)

Measuring treatment workload, burden and capacity to self-manage heart failure

Exploring how we might measure a person's capacity to self-manage multiple health conditions as end of life approaches  

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Book Chapter



Methods of Inquiry – collecting and analysing qualitative data

Elizabeth James
Building 67 Room 4015, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton,
Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8836 email:

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